About Katherine Wieseman
I am excited to help others experience the benefits of “Journeys Through Movement” which emerge from exploring one’s potential of learning...
Katherine Wieseman, Ph.D., GCFP, guides individuals in their personalized journeys to celebrate learning, moving and living with joy and pleasure. How? She helps each client (referred to as a student) to pay attention to the significance of physical sensations, emotions, thoughts, and habitual movement patterns. Paying attention fosters awareness which contributes to improving one's quality of life. When we feel integration and connectedness within ourselves, we open ourselves to the new possibilities of connection with others, and create more potential to live with vitality and joy in our hearts.
Joy is apparent in Katherine when she dances Argentinean tango, walks in nature, swims in a lake, glides across the snow on her cross-country skis, or digs in her vegetable garden. She rejoices when listening to a Golden Age tango orchestra playing or Ivan Rebroff singing a Russian folk song, or when she plays her djembe drum. Momentous experiences such as coming to know Ubuntu (a Southern African concept referring to humanity and sense of interconnectedness) in South Africa and walking on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain have contributed to her transformative journey.
Katherine is an experienced educator with more than 3 decades of teaching experience in subjects including the sciences, interdisciplinary learning, problem-solving, sports, movement awareness, and teacher education. She has taught in multicultural and multinational settings throughout the USA and Belgium, with students ranging from the highly energetic 5 year old to the still young-at-heart octogenarian. Her first passion in science teaching and learning (also the field of her Ph.D.) has led her into her work with movement intelligence and study of the connections between learning and neuroplasticity. She is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner (GCFP), who also has completed Nia White Belt training.
- Ph.D. in Science Education, M.A. in Education Foundations, B.S. in Biology // Teacher certifications in Colorado, New Mexico, Washington.
- Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and teacher // Nia White Belt Training.
- Language skills: Spanish, French, Dutch.
AT THE HEART OF HER WORK
What do movement, music, you, and other living beings have in common? Each is an expression of energy. Scientists conceptualize energy in terms of particles and waves, and vibrations emitted. The Chinese have identified chi energy as a vital life force existing in all living beings; yogis call this energy prana. Spiritual communities associate energy with qualities of the heart, such as love. Regardless of the form energy takes, movement is one of its attributes.
Focusing on and fusing movement and music are at the heart of Katherine's work in helping others in their transformative journeys. Besides the fact that she personally enjoys them, movement and music are fundamental to existence. Movement is central to the survival of each living cell in an organism, and the whole of the organism.
We often think of movement in relation to what the skeleton and muscles do. However, the muscles cannot function and the skeleton will not move without the work of the nervous system. Ultimately, “without movement there is no life,” as Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais once stated.
What would the music of our nervous system sound like if we listened? Do you know that areas in the brain which activate when we engage in movements like swinging a golf club also engage when we listen to expressive moments in music? Check out "To Tug Hearts, Music Must First Tickle the Neurons" in The New York Times (April 18, 2011) to learn more.
Katherine’s approach has its roots in ten essential realizations, insights gained from her experiences with the Feldenkrais Method®, Mind Body Studies, Movement Intelligence, Argentinean tango, a Chinese 5 Element viewpoint of wellbeing, and ancestral wisdom traditions.
- “Learning is a gift of life” (Moshe Feldenkrais, Embodied Wisdom, p. 58)
- Celebrate the uniqueness and worth of each being
- Be as fully present and attentive as possible
- Sense-Connect-Integrate through softening, gentleness, respect and effortlessness
- Explore-Improvise-Discover in the routine and new of a moment
- Emotions matter
- Embrace natural flow, interdependence, and harmony
- Community strings are intangible (energetic) as well as tangible (visible)
- Community wellbeing cannot happen without participation, interaction, responsibility, respect, trust, and synergy
- We each lead others in some way at some time; lead and follow; do and wait
A LONGER VERSION OF MY STORY
I was born in a bedroom community of New York City, and grew up as a child living between multiple cultures. During my childhood in Venezuela I moved between the different cultures of my parents on the home front, friendships with neighborhood children of different nationalities, a Venezuelan water polo community, and an international school community. As an adult, in addition to living in different regions of the USA, I have lived in the Flemish part of Belgium and southern Japan, and traveled extensively in Mexico, Costa Rica, Europe, and the Cape Region of South Africa. Spanish is my second language, and I also enjoy using my language skills in French and Dutch.
For more than 3 decades I have worked as an educator in many fields, and the list includes nutrition, environmental and outdoor education, sports/coaching, English as a second language, kindergarten through secondary school sciences, elementary school mathematics and social studies, interdisciplinary learning, Spanish, curriculum development and assessment, teacher preparation, and teacher professional development. My thinking about teaching, learning, personal growth and transformation, and leadership are grounded in my personal experiences and in what I have learned from professional and research literature related to my fields of work. My professional and personal life experiences have shown me that people have unique learning pathways and strengths, which wise teachers use as the basis for relationship with learners and teaching.
In 2004, I was introduced to the Sacred Fire Community, whose members gather around the physical phenomenon and energy of fire – welcoming its warmth, encouraging acceptance of diversity in spiritual traditions, and nurturing heart-based community. Thereafter, I began working with one of its members, Deanne Jenne, a marekame (shaman) in the Huichol tradition. I undertook a course of study in Plant Spirit Medicine taught by Eliot Cowan. These spiritual experiences, along with others in South Africa and on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, led me into a journey of connectedness which I had not known as a woman living within a western European, scientific, and post-modernist paradigm. In 2008, I resigned from a faculty position as a professor of teacher education to help with caregiving of my elderly father who subsequenty passed in 2010. Simultaneously, I began re-envisioning who I was as an educator and shifting my focus to personal and community, development and transformation.
After decades of longing to learn to dance Argentinean tango, in 2009 I found myself living near 2 dance communities on the northern side of the Olympic peninsula in Washington state. Tango music resonated with something intangible deep within me, and I jumped wholeheartedly into learning how Argentinean tango was not only a dance form but also a metaphor for living. Almost immediately I realized that the gifts I was experiencing in my personal journey with tango could be gifts for many others. Through a tango connection I learned about Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais and his perspective of somatic education in 2010. In 2011, not only did I begin study in the Feldenkrais Method®, but I was introduced to Nia and completed the Nia White Belt training. I completed my Feldenkrais training in 2014. A few months later I learned that Mia Segal, Dr. Feldenkrais’ first assistant and collaborator, and Ruthy Alon, one of Dr. Feldenkrais first students, would be facilitating advanced trainings on the west coast. I continue to advance my understanding of Feldenkrais and somatic learning by pursuing Walk for Life and Solutions for Optimal Mobility certifications in Ruthy Alon’s Movement Intelligence programs and completing advanced trainings offered by Mia Segal in her Mind Body Studies Academy.
As a learner and teacher, I prefer working in ways that are holistic, experiential, multi-sensory, and interactive. I greatly value providing time and space for paying attention, deepening self-awareness and reflection, building community connectedness, and storytelling in words, movement, and music. I am excited to help others experience the benefits of “Journeys Through Movement” which emerge from exploring one’s potential of learning for personal and community awareness, and transformation.
MEANING OF THE LOGO
The colours of the logo have significance in Chinese 5 Element theory. Red is associated with the elemental force of Fire - transformation, connection, community, communication, and joy. Green is associated with the elemental force of Wood - vision, creativity, growth, decision making, and manifesting purpose and life path.
The red twisted loop in the logo is a Möbius Strip, and for Katherine is a shape that evokes playfulness, curiousity, and thinking in different ways. You begin a journey when you draw a line lengthwise down its middle and end up where you started. No surprise? If you cut the across the width of the strip, both sides of the long rectangular strip have a lengthwise line down their middle. It’s a single continuous curve with only one surface. (By the way, mathematical thinking is important in the worlds of movement and music.)
Like the music notes that pass through the Möbius Strip, the Möbius Strip by itself has a place in the world of music in the concept of a dyad. For example, it provides the framework of the Royal Theme in the dyad of canonic voices in J. S. Bach’s The Musical Offering - Canon No. 1 a 2 cancrisazns (crab canon), in which a second canonic voice plays the theme backwards simultaneous to a first voice playing the theme forwards. An animation of this canon can be viewed at http://strangepaths.com/canon-1-a-2/2009/01/18/en/
The Möbius Strip shows up in the Dutch artist Escher’s work in the wood print of the ants on a Möbius strip. Escher said about his prints, “I try to show that we live in a beautiful and orderly world, not in formless chaos.... I cannot resist fooling around with our established certainties. It gives me great pleasure, for example, to deliberately mix up the second and third dimensions, flat and spatial, and to make fun of gravity” [English translation].
“It has become a metaphor for change, strangeness, looping, and rejuvenation” (C.Clifford Pickover in The Mobius Strip. Dr. August Möbius's Marvelous Band in Mathematics, Games, Literature, Art, Technology, and Cosmology).